Posts Tagged ‘design’

Good looking lighting?

October 31, 2011

I have to say I’m a sucker for good design.  Something that catches my eye is sure to draw me in, but more important is whether or not it works.   Like a book jacket that promises an exciting story, I want it to actually read that way.  A wise man in my family once said, “life is too short to read bad books.”  I have to add, especially with bad lighting.

 How about LED lighting?  You heard Mike rave about some of the CREE and Halo products.  Not coincidentally, both are ceiling recessed lights and this is where the directional nature of LEDs shine.  (Sorry, Bad pun).  And as far as good looking design, when it’s off, we don’t see recessed lighting, it is recessed after all.

I’m still waiting for that perfect regular ol’ light bulb replacement, and a good looking one.   More important may be another drawback to LED lighting which is the brightness “ceiling”.  As incandescent bulbs are phased out and my eyes get worse, I’d like to see more bright LED lights come to the market.  And the directional nature of LEDs means there are design challenges trying to get them to throw light in every direction.

I have found some bulbs which are pretty cool looking but just like the dust jacket of a book, what is inside?  I hope to not be looking at the bulb when it’s on because it’s shedding some good light!  What catches my eye is the promise of better light so far, the bulbs out there brighter than the 60w comparison look funny or they are big and clunky and well as pricy!

Exciting to me are the ones that promise the same light as a 75w or 100w incandescent like the Switch, and they don’t look like a prop from Star Trek.   If it looks good and works, count me in!  They are due out this coming year, and I look forward to trying them out, good book in hand.

Efficiency guru Amory Lovins once said all people want is “a cold beer and a hot shower” I say” a good book and good light” too!

How will our homes change in the next 5-10 years?

May 5, 2011

If we ask the question what will the price of heating oil or natural gas be in the next 5 or 10 years or electricity if we start using more electric cars, we get a sense of what we need Design and Construction in our homes to be. If we don’t change how we look at what is important in housing we may not be able to afford them for the long term.

As a Home Performance contractor, we find the same problems in new homes you might expect to see only in older ones. Air leakage, lack of or poor insulation, comfort issues, inefficient heating systems with poor distribution are all common in the newest of construction.

There has been change in design and construction towards efficiency, comfort and conscientious building. We are finally coming to a point where outside pressures such as limited building resources, illness indoor air quality issues, as well as the instability of the price of heating our homes may force us to reconsider what is important.

I hope design and construction will take a turn for the better for our health, safety, comfort as well as our wallets when he heat and cool these homes, it needs to happen. Put the fancy counter-tops and other luxuries in later. What we need are homes with good insulation and air barriers, deal with moisture well, have efficient heating and cooling equipment sized to accommodate the reduced demand because of an exceptional building envelope. This is our goal when we fix existing homes and can really only be achieved when we take a house as a system approach to building.

I do not wish for the construction of homes to continue in the ‘just adequate’ fashion that potentially creates un-healthy and inefficient buildings. Building to code is the bare minimum standard. It might be seen as good for business for GreenHomes America to carry on in the usual fashion since each home built this way is one that we could fix in the next 5 to 10 years, but the fact is there is plenty of work already for many years to come. The future holds comfort, health and safety wrapped up in efficiency. Homes as they should be: a safe haven new or old.

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We’ve Been Nominated for Best Green Blog!

March 4, 2011

San Diego-based Jackson Design and Remodeling has canvassed the web in search of the best green blogs, and we were chosen! Now, we’re in the running with some other great blogs for the prestigious title of Best Green Blog!

If you enjoy reading this blog and want to help us reach other people who may find our tips and insights useful, then please take 5 seconds to cast your vote! It’s that easy.

Click this Link to Vote:

Thanks for all your support!

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